A proposal by Australian mining billionaire Nathan Tinkler to build a A$2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) coal export terminal on the nation’s east coast has been rejected by the New South Wales government.
The site proposed by Tinkler is “more suited to handling multi-product, container, general cargo and dry bulk terminal freight,” Premier Barry O’Farrell said in a Jan. 28 statement.
Tinkler’s plan, through his closely held Hunter Ports Ltd., competed with Port Waratah Coal Services Ltd.’s A$5 billion proposal to expand existing port facilities at Newcastle. Coal exporters in Australia, the biggest exporter of the fuel, are facing bottlenecks as railroads and ports have struggled to cope with increased demand, resulting in regular queues of ships waiting to load.
“The government will continue to build on the existing industry-supported framework for the expansion of coal terminal capacity,” O’Farrell said.
Tinkler, Australia’s youngest billionaire, last year lost out in a bid to buy Queensland’s Abbot Point coal terminal, which was sold to India’s Adani Group for A$1.8 billion.
The NSW government’s decision gave coal producers in the region more certainty about a timely delivery of their future coal export chain, Port Waratah’s Chief Executive Office Hennie du Plooy said in a statement.
The port of Newcastle is located about 125 kilometers (70 miles) north-northeast of Sydney. It’s the world’s biggest thermal coal port.